Two old tarts and Top Gear

Hi All,

I have discovered 1 downside to being 50. The recovery rate is somewhat slowed. Kym headed home to Western Australia on Sunday and it is Tuesday and I am still trying to tell my body that bread isn’t my friend. It has decided that it LOVES bread and flour products in general and appears to want to make up for lost time. Lost time equals a fat derrière body so you can just about give up on that idea! I stopped trying to match Kym and Steve when it came to wine consumption. I bow before their ability to imbibe and pass the torch to them both. I can, however, eat for the queen and it only took me a few days to jump right back into bad habits. Getting back into habits that you have cultivated can sometimes be a little difficult but my 50 year old body can get reacquainted with my 50 year old willpower all over again.

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Can you tell it’s cold and windy? Kym standing next to the lighthouse at Low Head near Georgetown. No penguins but I think that they all blew away

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Me telling lies about the size of the fish that I caught

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The only way that we can keep Earl out of the banana’s…

What is going to take longer to get back into is reading my RSS Feed Reader. I shared Pinterest with Kym and showed her how it can be a useful tool to while away an afternoon but was too scared to open up my RSS Feed Reader and so it had remained sealed like King Solomon’s tomb for the entire 9 days that Kym was here. I am a prolific blog follower and commenter and the blogs that I regularly follow must have thought that I had expired (some may indeed have drawn in a sigh of relief 😉 ) but narf7 is back…in pog form! It is going to take me a solid few weeks to get back to waking up early enough to deal with the backlog of blog posts in my feed reader as the feed reader wasn’t the only thing that had to be neglected while Kym and I cavorted around the countryside reinvigorating entire swaths of wineries.

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2 reprobate hippies and their long suffering (under walked) dogs on Paper Beach in winter

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I can’t even remember what was so hilarious…probably still under the influence 😉

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Guess who doesn’t have this sock/boot any more…sigh…

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When I was rootling around to find another earring to replace a faux one that was giving my lobes jip I found this silver gem bracelet that my wonderful daughter’s had bought for me a few years ago. No point leaving it in a velvet bag so narf7 is now decorated and shiny with bling 🙂 Cheers girls, I LOVE IT 🙂

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More bling, bought in a little shop in Liverpool but sadly broken on one of the links

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Some of the gemstones in the bracelet. I am going to have to get it fixed as I love this bracelet as well 🙂

Steve and I decided to put our studies on hold. I can’t say that I was sorry about that because our lecturer tricked me. He allowed me to think (uncorrected) that the unit that we are currently being subject to was “creative writing” when it is actually something entirely noxious and the word “creative” is dangled as a lure for unsuspecting narf7 moths. The unit is actually “creative thinking” and requires a degree of researching and waffling that even I find obsequious and repulsive. We have to learn all about the 6 hats of Edward de Bono. Beware folks! This might sound like a most entertaining children’s story or an excerpt out of a Rolling Stones magazine describing the crazy antics of Bono’s insane half-brother but it is a sad indictment of an entire cultures need to stuff everything into controlled boxes including creativity. No longer can we create wildly via thought. We need to farm our creativity and much like farmed fish, something has to give. You can’t stuff creativity into a box folks and expect it to give you something unique. What you end up with is a series of hats that are supposed to funnel you to a directive. They even tried to lure me with colours! As the irascible bolshie woman that I am I find it difficult to do what I am told at the best of times but when I am given a series of coloured hats to attempt to funnel my “creative thought” towards a target I find my heels dug in sharply and Steve is going to have to drag me forcibly through this unit. I feel a battle brewing on the horizon!

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Me looking decidedly like Katharine Hepburn but Ms Hepburn would NEVER allow her ankles to be photographed like shameless narf7!

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Steve was the little engine who could…but not for very long! 😉

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It’s egg central on Serendipity Farm and ducky has started laying her lovely blue eggs again! It must be all of the rain (and slugs/snails/leeches) that she is eating. “Duck eggs on shopping day girls” 🙂

I published my first solo post on the wonderful blog Not Dabbling in Normal on Monday and if any of you would like to see a short post by yours truly (I KNOW…it is a miracle!) feel free to perambulate yourselves over to NDIN and check it out. I have yet to wood burn my post 50 message of enlightenment but “I can and I will” is my new motto. I can wash and vacuum out the car and I will…I can plant a tree a day and I will! I can stop procrastinating about my latest study unit and I WILL get stuck in and finish the bollocking thing…you get the picture. Life is found in the “doing” not the planning and the first 50 years of my life has seen an imbalance of power with a lien decidedly biased towards the planning stage. Post 50 brings me “nearer my God to thee” and so I want to get stuck into the actualities of living. It certainly took me long enough to work it out but at least I did. That’s a good start…

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The road and most of Serendipity Farm!

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The top part of our ex-driveway…

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The twin canyons that have formed to allow the water to run straight down the driveway and into the Tamar River…never let it be said that we didn’t let the water do whatever the heck it wanted on Serendipity Farm…sigh…

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Almost 200mm down folks! Looks like we are going to have to do some serious drainage work on our driveway ASAP 😦 (when it stops raining that is… sigh…)

Kym headed home after making her very own first Stromboli. She wanted to know how to make a good reliable pizza dough and I immediately thought of the Stromboli dough. It isn’t actually a Stromboli dough, it’s a dough for calzones that I found online and discovered that it is amazingly malleable to various dough based recipes. So far it has baked excellent calzones, Stromboli’s (both savoury and sweet) and pizza bases both thin and crispy and thick and tender. I needed a post about “flour” for my NDIN (Not Dabbling in Normal from this point forwards folks) blog post and I immediately thought of sharing, developing community and how flour has allowed humanity to grow and prosper. There may or may not be a degree of historical realignment skewed to my version of events in my post but no-one can dispute the importance of grains and cereal crops to mankind. Kym made a fantastic first Stromboli and I actually remembered to take photos so you can share her glory here

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“More cowbell baby!” if you don’t know what I am on about you NEED to hunt down the Saturday Night Live episode with Will Ferrell, Christopher Walken as The Blue Oyster Cult…hilarious AND full of cowbell. “How’s THIS for a cowbell Bethany? Steve says “MORE cowbell baby!” 😉

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I might not have been able to take Steve with me on the day but here’s the front end of a cow doing a great job of looking like him 🙂

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Yup…Steve or Hippy Jesus…you choose 😉

Kym’s husband Bruce…a saint of a man who needs a medal, required only one thing of Kym when she returned back home…well he required two things but he only got one. The first was that Kym turn up on time (sorry Bruce that was ALWAYS going to be a questionable ask…) and the second was that she pack her bag with as much Tassie cheese as she could stuff in. Considering she only had 3kg of space she did an amazing job and included 2 large blocks of chocolate to (literally) sweeten the deal. To facilitate the cheese giving we decided to head off to Ashgrove cheese factory to sample their wares and see what we could find for Kym to bring back for Bruce. We discovered more than cheese and returned home with some of their amazing milk, some Gloucestershire cheese offcuts for Steve (future Stromboli happiness) and a good selection of some of the more delicious and unusual cheese samples for Bruce.  We also discovered a selection of fibreglass cows and a large Tasmanian native pepperberry shrub in full pepper production that I may or may not have pinched some berries from. Bruce also got a wheel of double cream brie that should keep his cheese buds happy for a while.

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“Sorry? What was that cow?…”

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“Bruce needs Kym to empty her suitcase and fill it with cheese eh?” 😉

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Kym sharing how she feels about that idea…

I headed into town on Monday to do the fortnightly shopping and to meet up with my daughters to “do lunch”. I was still dazed and confused after my 9 days of carousing and ended up taking twice as long as Steve does to do the shopping but at least I returned before Earl started to eat the furniture. We were going to head off to have lunch at a local Korean place but ended up picking up Subway to go and I must admit I have a decided soft spot for Subway sandwiches. Mine was HUGE. The girls serving us appeared to be having some kind of meeting with a higher power and they appeared to want to impress the suited man with a clipboard. The girls and I ended up with more salad than we would have thought possible to stuff onto a sandwich and my request for “extra jalapeno’s please” resulted in an entire jar being tipped on. I haven’t had Subway in quite some time and as a customisable meal it has a lot of things going for it. We arrived back at the girls house after an extended shopping trip all over Launceston at 3.15pm and after hurriedly scoffing my Subway (second degree mouth pain courtesy of jalapeno central) and swilling a much welcome mug of hot tea I raced off to pick up a sack of chook food and back to the grumbling stomachs of Earl and Bezial who usually eat at 3…needless to say they were a bit miffed. Earl (the gizzard of the South) actually refused his meal initially! I am not the only one who is going to have to get reacquainted with old habits 😉

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This is what happens when the clay under the soil gets sodden…arrivederci wattle tree!

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This used to be dry as a bone…not any more! Now we have a swamp to make our melaleuca trees happy (and the moss…don’t forget the moss!)

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The perfect place for a pond…in fact…the powers that be appear to have chosen it for just that purpose!

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Mush…

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Daffies covering more mush 🙂

Today (Tuesday) I got up at 4.30am. I am trying to get my head around early mornings all over again after 9 days of waking up at 7am and going to bed at 11pm. I love the extra time that getting up early gives me but there are swings and roundabouts to everything and the swing is that with early mornings you have to have early nights. I have been enjoying spending time watching a bit of television with Steve lately. Kym got to watch Aussie rules football twice in the 9 days that she was here. That is a sporting record for this house Kym! It is also the very first time that Aussie Rules football has been allowed to remain on our television for more than the 2 seconds that it takes to realise that something sporty has managed to find its way onto the screen. All this week (as a lead up to Father’s Day) we get to watch a mega marathon of Top Gear. Top Gear is an enigma folks. You don’t need to love cars to watch this show. The collective genius of Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond is the stuff that ratings executives dream of. You take one naughty boy (Clarkson), a man child (Hammond) and one intellectual duffer (May), you combine the three and pure magic happens. I challenge any one of you pooh-poohing me from your computer screens right now to watch a classic episode of Top Gear and not laugh at least once. Add the enigma known as “The Stig” to the equation and you are hooked. This show is as addictive as crack cocaine and twice as much fun. Steve and I are watching it and recording it because the earlier I wake up, the sleepier I am getting. I fell asleep on the couch last night at 8pm. Not too bad for me but a sign of what is to come. Soon I will be dozing at 7pm and night time television watching will be a distant memory. Swings and roundabouts…it all comes back to what you are willing to take up, and give up.

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Kym and I sitting in front of the amazingly gorgeous quilt that Kym made for me for my birthday. Isn’t it wonderful?! :). I am a very lucky narf7 to have such a wonderful talented friend :).

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Bezial and Earl photo-bombing! At least you get to see more of the gorgeous quilt 😉

I just added “The Stig” to the dictionary on Word…crack cocaine folks! ;). Well this is going to be where I finish today. I have a day of trying to force coloured bowler hats onto my uncooperative head and I can’t see it ending nicely. Steve and I have to cram a fortnight of work into 2 days and the subject matter is decidedly slanted at raising my ire and my natural bolshie tendencies so I don’t like my chances of not twitching so I decided to get this post done nice and early in the equation so that my twitching and angst doesn’t get transferred to my blog. See how much I love you all? ;). Have a great week folks. I post every Monday on NDIN (Not Dabbling in Normal) so feel free to head over there and see what narf7 can do with a few words and pictures. Until we meet again for our communal cuppa over the airwaves, take care and wherever you are, remember that life is in the “Doing” not the planning…Mr de Bono could have done with taking that to heart!